Lightning Bolts from the Blue

A lightning bolt jolts from a storm cloud with blue sky in the background. (Copyright 1976 Al Moller) NOAA
A lightning bolt jolts from storm clouds that are moving to the right.
(© A. Moller, 1976) NOAA

In most people’s minds, the risk associated with lightning from a thunderstorm occurs during the thunderstorm itself, along with rain, wind and sometimes hail. But statistics show that most of the injuries and deaths that result from lightning occur before the rain that is associated with a thunderstorm starts, or after the rain has stopped. 

In fact did you know that lightning has been recorded hitting more than 40 kilometres (25 miles) from these storm clouds? This is why it is important to keep an eye on the weather at all times.

When you hear thunder, lightning is within striking distance and it is time to seek shelter immediately in an enclosed building or hard topped vehicle. Also keep in mind that the sounds of thunder can be blocked by mountainous terrain or buildings. Thunder can also travel fast or slow and can be deflected depending on the atmospheric conditions and proximity to bodies of water.  

Lastly, remember to wait for a full 30 minutes after the last roll of thunder before going back outside. 

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